May 12, 2010
A hard-won victory
This grueling episode covers the Battle of Peleliu in 1944, a bitter victory that cost the Marines and U.S. Army infantry 1,794 lives and 8,010 wounded.
Bloated corpses bobbing in the surf are evidence of the high price that was paid to secure the heavily fortified and defended chunk of coral in the Philippine Sea.
Fantastic editing mixes footage from the Japanese side with gritty, hard-won scenes of battle from the American vantage point.
The score by Robert Russell Bennett juxtaposes a soaring violin solo and string sections with scenes of the wounded being transferred to hospitals, tugging away at the emotions.